Belgian inspired designs…

July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love the casual elegance of Belgian inspired design.  With a focus on raw materials, Belgian style rooms are colored simply by the use of unfinished woods, natural stone, and linen.  Although it is known as a colorless design style, these images are certainly not lacking in interest.  The palettes from these subtle colored rooms are surprisingly colorful…

Photo: Barbara Westbrook and Kim Winkler in House Beautiful

         

Photo: Design Sponge

      

Photo: Kay Douglas in House Beautiful

          

Photo: Axel Vervoordt

For more on Belgian Design, check out Alex Vervoordt’s book Timeless Interiors.

Color palette swatches are from Benjamin Moore:  Image 1 – Gladstone Tan, Britannia Blue, Spring in Aspen, Feel the Energy.  Image 2 – Bryant Gold, Temptation, Blue Porcelain.  Image 3 – Bonnie Nuit, Boothbay Gray, Spring in Aspen, Snowfall White.

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Design trend: yellow & gray

Design trend: lavender


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Design Trend: Lavender…

June 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Lavender is a soft feminine color, but it’s use has been reinvented. This color—traditionally used in bedrooms or children’s rooms—has become a popular choice for more public spaces.  To do this successfully, the color you select is very important.  This shade of lavender reads as almost gray. This modern color gives a fresh look to this traditional home…

Photo: Canadian House and Home

         

Using a color like lavender in a public space can be a challenge.  Adding deeper hues to a lavender scheme can make it more universal, like in this room by PIERCE -ALLEN.  I love this color combination…

Photo: PIERCE – ALLEN

         

The way lavender is perceived can be influenced by the colors it is used with. This room by Anne Coyle is brilliant example of transforming lavender through the use of color.   The use of black gives a more masculine feel to this feminine color.

Photo: Anne Coyle

           

Why not try using a deeper shade instead?  Who needs lavender in a room like this…

Photo: House Beautiful

Color palette swatches by Benjamin Moore:  Scheme 1 – Lavender Mist, Mystical Blue, Athenian Blue, Bryant Gold.  Scheme 2 – Plum Royale, Beach Plum, Yellow Iris, Racing Orange.  Scheme 3 – Beach Plum, Black Tar, Bryant Gold, Stuart Gold.

Balancing yellow & pink…

June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yellow and pink make a great combination—and even better when accented with a rich magenta, like in this photo below.  The colors are so perfect in this picture…

Photo: House Beautiful

I didn’t think it could get any better until I came across this image—I love how the pink and yellow are layered in front of the dark background. This moody gray brings a quiet sophistication to these two cheerful colors.

Photo: Tony Bennett Photography, as seen on Desire to Inspire

The golden framed artwork is the perfect accent for this gorgeous pink and white schemed room.

Photo: Amanda Nisbet

I love what they did with the walls in this photo…the yellow stenciled walls really make the room.

Photo: Serena and Lily

Balancing two colors like yellow and pink is essential for a successfully designed room.  This can be done in a number of ways:  1. Try varying the intensity of the colors.  To balance a bright yellow, select a soft pink, instead of a deeper hue.  2. Balance can also be achieved by varying the amounts of color used within the room.  For example, a bold color can be softened by using it smaller amounts, or intensified by using more of it.  3. When using these two colors at equal intensity, you can balance them by adding a neutral to to the color scheme, so the two colors will read as accents —or use more of one color than the other, so one color is dominant.

Design Trend: Yellow and gray…

June 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yellow and gray do look great together, but when using this trend its easy to get carried away.  Some yellow and grey rooms are very bold and unrealistic for most homes.  I like the more subtle versions of this trend. Try some of these softer palettes for yellow & gray.

Photo: Martha Stewart

         

This image by Kathleen Walsh Interiors, uses only touches of gray in the carpet and artwork.  The warm yellow selected for the walls gives the room a golden glow.

Photo: Kathleen Walsh Interiors

          

This room by Kelly Wearstler is more typical of a yellow and gray scheme, but the colors are toned down, which softens the look.

Photo: Kelly Wearstler

          

This feature in Veranda uses only a few touches of yellow…perfect!

Photo: Turner Davis Interiors, featured in Veranda

        

This room by Aerin Lauder uses a predominantly gray room with touches of golden yellow.  The lavender-gray used on the tablecloth adds warmth to the room.

Photo: Aerin Lauder, featured in Elle Decor

          

Color palette swatches by Benjamin Moore:  Scheme 1 -Pale Avacado, Treasure Trove, Yellow Lillies, Rock Harbor Violet. Scheme 2 – Naples Yellow, Calla Lilly, Feather Gray.  Scheme 3 – Jasper Yellow, Blue Orchard, Dark Lilac. Scheme 4 – Jasper Yellow, Toucan Black.  Scheme  5 – Yellow Bisque, Tropical Dusk, Galaxy.

Adding light to dark colored rooms

May 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Using dark colors on your walls always runs the risk of creating a room that is too dark. Occasionally, it is the designer’s intent is to create a dark and mysterious mood in a room, but in most cases, the goal is to create a sense of light even though some of the elements in the space are dark.  The key to adding light to the space is all about balance.

Loftenberg.com

This space uses light colored flooring to reflect light into the room.  In addition, all the elements in the room are light colored except for the richly colored dark walls.

Flicker

This office is a great example of balancing dark colors in a room.  The bookshelves and windows break up the dark gray walls.  The white cabinetry increases the perception of light in the room, while the orange accents add interest.

Loftenberg.com

Lighting is key…This kitchen has an amazing amount of light considering just about every element in the room is dark.  Why does it work?  A large amount of natural light from the window fills the room and is reflected by the raised white ceiling.  Additional light fixtures have been added to the space as well. The size and openness of the room also helps to promote a light and airy feel.

Some other ways to add light to the room is through the use of wainscoting, mirrors or reflective surfaces, and artwork.  Pick your room wisely, one that gets a lot of natural light and open space. Ready to take on a project like this? Here are some of my favorite moody hues…

         

Colors from left to right…1623 Britannia Blue, 1456 Mountain Ridge, 1609 Temptation, and 1637 Blue Spruce.  All colors are by Benjamin Moore.

Creating a Restful Bedroom

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Your bedroom should be comfortable, peaceful, and relaxing. The best way to give this look and feel to a room is to use a quiet color scheme — think accented neutrals and light colors.  If used sparingly, dark colors are ok, but you will want to stay away from bright colors.  Instead of using a traditional blue, a rich blue/grey will be more peaceful. Instead of purple, use a soft plum.  Try using one of these hues as your accent color.

          

Photo: Restoration Hardware

This bedroom is a great example of a stylish, relaxing retreat.  You could add more color to this room by replacing the gray pillows and quilt with a similar set, in one of the accent colors above.

Here are some tips for creating a restful bedroom:

Photo: Restoration Hardware

1. Layer your bedding…Bedding should include a great sheet set, a plush duvet, and a textured coverlet or throw.  Mix up your colors and patterns using these elements.  Try one in a solid, one in a print and one in a deep colored, textured solid.

Photo: Pottery Barn

2. Soften the room with fabrics…Layered drapery will add softness to the room.  Try using a roman shade framed with floor length curtains.  In addition, you can add soft furnishings to the room — like  an upholstered bench at the end of the bed or a lounge chair in the corner.

Piccadilly Chair by Serena & Lily

3. Finish the room with style…Add a great pendant and some beautiful artwork to give the room character….and enjoy.

Images from left to right.  Torso Line Drawing I by Richard Karwoski. Victorian Hotel Pendant and Peacock Mirror by Restoration Hardware.  Accent colors used above are Benjamin Moore Silvery Blue, Cabernet and Polaris Blue.

Want to add color to a neutral room?

May 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

Neutral color schemes are very popular, but adding a bit of color to a neutral color scheme can really enhance the beauty of the room. Try painting the ceiling in a great color to add drama.  These three rooms are great examples of how adding color, in an unexpected way, can really change the look and feel of a room.

by Turner Davis Interiors

unknown from decorpad

Decorpad

Downwhimsylane.com

Some tips for pulling off this great look… 1. Use a great color.  2. Only use darker colors if you have high ceilings.  3. Keep the rest of the room neutral except for a few accessories (match them to the ceiling color or use one shade lighter).

Another great trick…try using a pale color on the walls and a darker version of that color on the ceiling.

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